NSW Child Restraint Laws
All children up to seven years of age must be safely fastened in the correct restraint for their age and size. A child who is properly secured in an approved child restraint is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not. Children up to seven years of age are at least four times as likely to sustain a head injury in a crash when using an adult seatbelt compared with children secured in an appropriate child restraint.
- Children younger than six months must be secured in a rearward facing restraint
- Children younger than four years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows
- Children aged between four years and seven years must be secured in a forward facing child restraint or booster seat
- Children aged between four years and seven years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in a child restraint or booster seat.
Buying a child restraint
Many retailers sell child restraints, but they can also be hired from some local councils, maternity hospitals, community groups and from privately run rental companies. Child restraints available in Australia must meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1754:2000 (or later) Child Restraint Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles. The standard is one of the toughest in the world and child restraints that meet it offer better levels of protection in a crash. Many of the restraints have been tested and assessed.
All child seats should be fitted securely by an authorised child restraint fitting station. Although this is not law, it is highly recommended.
- Using a restraint correctly greatly increases a child’s safety during a crash
- Placing a child in a restraint that is designed for a larger/older child increases the risk of serious injury in a crash
- Ensure the restraint is installed correctly
- Teach your child to always keep both arms within the harness system of the child seat or the seat belt of the booster seat
- When using a seat belt with a booster seat, ensure the seat belt is correctly fitted over the child’s mid-shoulder
- Move your child into a forward-facing restraint only when they no longer fit into a rearward-facing restraint
- Move your child into a booster seat only when they no longer fit into a forward-facing restraint
- Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions